Russian Ghost Ship Spotted Off Ireland; Lyubov Orlov, Former Cruise Ship, Drifting Toward Europe

on February 22 2013 3:01 PM
Lyubov Orlov
The Lyubov Orlov earned the Russian Ghost Ship moniker after she went missing last month when the tug cable severed, sending the vessel into a drift across the Atlantic Ocean. Wikicommons

Weeks after being lost at sea, a Russian cruise ship has been spotted off roughly 1,300 nautical miles off the coast of Ireland. The Lyubov Orlova, an empty cruise liner, was being towed from Canada to the Dominican Republic in January when the tug line broke and tug operators failed to secure it, threatening to lose the boat forever.

Named after a Soviet actress, the Orlova was abandoned for two years before being designated to the Carribbean Seas to be scrapped. The weather and heavy waves have made it impossible so far for owner Reza Shoeybi to corral it.

“I’m trying my best,” he told CBC News. “I’m talking to a few people in Ireland -- salvage companies -- perhaps to partner up with them and retrieve her.”

Canadian officials refused to begin searching for the vessel when the cable snapped last month, because the tug had already pulled it into international waters, effectively ending the country’s commitment.

It was then located by the Atlantic Hawk, a supply ship used by the oil industry, but that effort was discontinued by transport Canada, because the ghost ship no longer posed a threat to “the safety of offshore oil installations, their personnel or the marine environment,” according to the Irish Times.

“The vessel has drifted into international waters, and, given current patterns and predominant winds, it is very unlikely that the vessel will reenter waters under Canadian jurisdiction,” Canadian transportation officials said. 

The Orlov was built in 1976 by the Russian-based Far East Shipping Company and used as an expedition cruise ship before the company deserted it in St. John’s, Newfoundland.

AFP reported (via Phys.org) that the Orlov was recently located in a slow drift toward Europe, sitting roughly 800 nautical miles away from the coastline.

More News from IBT MEDIA